Hong Kong's Covid-free streak may end as two test positive: Media

Commuters have their temperatures checked as they arrive at the entrance to Hong Kong's Disneyland, on June 17, 2020.
Commuters have their temperatures checked as they arrive at the entrance to Hong Kong's Disneyland, on June 17, 2020.PHOTO: AFP

HONG KONG (BLOOMBERG) - Hong Kong's three-week stretch of no new local Covid-19 cases may have been broken after two people tested positive for the virus on Saturday (July 4), Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) reported, citing unidentified people.

A 59-year-old man is in stable condition at Princess Margaret Hospital after testing positive for coronavirus, RTHK said. The results of a second check to confirm the infection have yet to be announced, according to the report.

The last locally transmitted case in Hong Kong was reported on June 12.

The other new suspected locally transmitted case is a nurse who works at a clinic in Cheung Sha Wan, RTHK cited sources as saying.

Hong Kong further relaxed social distancing measures in mid-June, allowing public gatherings of up to 50 people.

The city's government is in talks with Guangdong provincial authorities for a plan to ease cross-border travel restrictions, including lifting the 14-day mandatory quarantine for qualified people.

Visitor arrivals to Hong Kong fell 99.9 per cent on year in May to 8,139 due to the border-control policies, according to data from the city's Tourism Board.

The financial hub of around 7.5 million people - roughly the same population as New York City - has been successful in keeping the coronavirus in check, with 1,259 cases as of July 4 and just seven related deaths.

Most residents continue to wear protective masks in public, even as life slowly returns to normal.

Hong Kong further relaxed social-distancing measures in mid-June, allowing public gatherings of up to 50 people. The city’s government is in talks with Guangdong provincial authorities for a plan to ease cross-border travel restrictions, including lifting the 14-day mandatory quarantine for qualified people. 

The neighbouring city of Macau is also easing social restrictions. The special administration region of China will permit 3,000 applications for exemption from mandatory quarantine every day from July 6 for people entering the mainland through its border with Zhuhai for business purposes or special needs. 

Under the new rules, Macau residents with the exemption will be allowed to visit nine cities in China’s Greater Bay Area, including Guangzhou and Shenzhen, according to a Zhuhai government statement Sunday.

At present, the only Chinese city they are permitted to travel to is Zhuhai.